July 14-15, 1993 - Seattle, WA, US
NIRVANA rehearse at Midnight above Jukebox City, Seattle's pre-eminent jukebox factory on 1st Ave. South. Since most of the power outlets are dead, the band fumble around trying to set up equipment in the moonlight. Sitting in on the session is rock critic, Gavin Edwards.
The band have barely played together since they finished recording at Pachyderm, but have reconvened here in preparation for a surprise show at the New Music Seminar in New York City the following week.
Edwards describes the scene in a November 1993 article for Details magazine, Stifling a yawn, Dave settles in behind his drums. Kurt grabs a chair and tunes his acoustic guitar, which is decorated with a Nixon Now bumper sticker. He can't quite adjust his mic and asks Krist for help. Also present at the session are guitar roadie Big John Duncan and cellist Lori Goldston, both of whom have been enlisted for NIRVANA's New Music Seminar set. Tonight the band are learning the ironic lesson that they can't play unplugged without electric current, Edwards jokily observes.
After a tense start, NIRVANA finally begin their rehearsal at 1 AM with Dumb.'Despite their long separation, they make an acoustic set sound graceful and effortless', Edwards enthuses. 'The cello bolsters the group's sound, but as usual, the most powerful instrument is Kurt's voice: Thick, raspy, and knowing, it snakes through every song'.
Progressing through the set, Cobain remarks on how many of the songs have similar three-chord progressions and expresses concern that they be sequenced carefully, lest the acoustic set sound repetitive.
When Cobain enquires as to whether Grohl should play along with him during Something in the Way, Grohl responds, I think you sound better alone. But I have such shitty rhythm, Cobain grumbles back. Despite Cobain's uncertainty, Edwards finds the subsequent solo renditions particularly stirring: Every time he plays it, he does it a little slower, until his drawling, hesitating words of alienation are floating through the loft, as eerie as the night-time glow of the Seattle Kingdome trickling through the windows.
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